3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful - and erotic,
This review is from: Ancient Light (Hardcover)
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Alex, an actor now in his sixties, looks back to his fifteenth year, the year he had a lover affair with Mrs Gray, the mother of his best friend Billy. As Alex remembers, often not with great clarity for the passage of time has blurred some of the events, he keeps us abreast of current events in his life which centre on his engagement to appear as the man of the title alongside film star legend Dawn Devonport in a biopic, a role for which he is drawn out of retirement.
Alex relates the account of his youth with great tenderness, a little guilt and some longing. He describes his encounters with Mrs Gray creating some of the best and most subtle erotic fiction one is likely to discover. He has no delusions about himself, either as a fifteen year old as he recalls the moods and tantrums he employed to get his own way with Mrs Gray, or in the present as he feels he has been adopted by the beautiful Dawn Devonport as a surrogate father figure.
Ancient Lights is a tender, touching novel, the real charm of which is in the telling. Banville allows Alex tell his story as if talking directly to his audience, and an audience of one, the reader, in a very conversational manner. Yet at the same time he manages write with great opulence yet unpretentiousness, prose of great fluidity and beauty. Highly recommended.